Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Homemade Candle Making Ideas - Tips For The Home

Homemade Candle Making Ideas - Tips For The Home © 2012

Homemade Candle Making

The candle maker was an essential part of village life for thousands of years, and the candle has played an important role in our society. In an age of electric lights, candles are no longer a fundamental need, but they still play a therapeutic role in our society. The candle provides light, fragrance, and a classic atmosphere to our homes, businesses, and places of worship.

Homemade Candle making is a fascinating hobby for those who choose to pursue it. The hobbyist can craft many types of candles right in the home. This article will cover some simple candle making tips and ideas for home candle making. There are simple candles which can be made in just a few minutes, suitable as a project for children. Modern materials have simplified the candle making process so that nice candles can be melted, wicked, and poured in under an hour. You will find many good books on the subject at your craft or hobby store.

The easiest candles for you to make are ‘wax crystal’ candles. Wax crystals are granulated wax which has color, hardener, luster, and mold release added to them. Because they have a consistency similar to sand, they can be poured easily. Use them as is to create ‘sand art’ type candles in clear glass containers. Use a center burning wick and the design is unaffected as the candle burns. Replace the wick and crystals periodically, and you can keep the candle burning indefinitely. These candles make great projects for kids because they involve no hot wax.

You can also make container or molded candles with the wax crystals. For container candles you can use any heat resistant container - candy tins, mugs, glasses, shells, or ceramic containers. You can scent theses candles with one of many fragrances.

If you use clear class containers for your candles, you can pour layers of different colors wax to create unique, color coordinated candles.

Free standing candles are made with molds, of which there are many different sizes and shapes. You will find pillar, globe, square, floater, and votive candle molds. Seasonal shapes are also available.

Molded candles may be decorated and scented in many different ways. They may be painted using stencils or free hand, using acrylic paint. Rub on decals or stickers can also be used to decorate the candle. Using the art of decoupage, candles may be decorated with cards, photos, beads, seeds, dried flowers, ribbon, or any other material which you can think of. This creates unlimited possibilities for candles as gifts, or to accent your home.

You can use a combination of methods to decorate the candle. You can use rub-on borders to edge the candle, decoupage a photo on the side, and use dried flowers, stickers, ribbon, or beads to accent the candle. The key is to have fun and do what you like.

These are just a few tips for making homemade candles. Hopefully there will be an idea or two here which you can use for making candles in your home.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Instructions - Homemade Candle Making Craft

Instructions - Homemade Candle Making Craft

There are a number of procedures for making homemade candles. Some of the more popular methods include wax crystal candles, paraffin candles, and gel candles. Using these methods, you can craft many different types of candles. Included in this articles are basic instructions and techniques for these types of candles.

Wax crystals are the most versatile candle making medium, allowing you to make either melted container or molded candles, or simpler sand art candles. Since wax crystals are loose, they can be poured like sand into a container. Insert a wick into the center of the container, and light the candle. This candle may be scented by stirring in a quantity of liquid fragrance after the candle is poured.

Note: Parafin is a petroleum product and is VERY flammable, so be very careful with the wax around any heat source.

Instructions For Making Home Made Candles From Wax Crystals

Container and molded candles may also be easily made from the wax crystals. The wax crystals are poured into a small metal sauce pan or boiler bag. This is placed into a bigger pan which has been about half filled with water. This water is placed on the kitchen range, and boiled until the wax melts. Now you may add fragrance wafers, Stirring in as it melts.

While the wax is melting, prepare the container or mold. For containers, insert a wick into the wick anchor, press tabs down securing the wick and place centering on the bottom of the container. Lay a piece of balsa wood across the top of the container. Pin the wick to the balsa strip with a dressmakers pin, allowing very little slack in the wick.

Mold preparation depends on the type of mold you have. Acrylic molds have a hole at the bottom. Pull the wick through this hole, and secure on the bottom with a generous amount of modeling clay. Seal well! Pin the wick to a balsa strip at the top in the manner described for container candles. Snap molds consist of two halves which are snapped securely together. The wick is anchored by a special indentation at the bottom of the mold into which the wick is inserted before the two halves are assembled. Secure the wick at the top in the manner already described. Tray molds are the easiest to use. Pour the wax into the mold and insert the wick after the wax has cooled somewhat. Pop the candle from the mold after it cools.

For the best candles, the wax should be about 160 degrees. Use a candle making thermometer to measure the temperature. Carefully pour the wax into the container or mold. Keep a little wax back. After the wax cools, there will be a depression in the center of the candle. Melt the wax you saved back again, and top up the container.

You can pour multi-color candles by using more than one color of wax. Prepare the mold or clear glass container. Melt the wax one color at a time and pour, allowing time for the previous layer to cool before the next layer is poured. This is necessary to prevent color ‘bleed’ from one layer to another.

Allow the wax to cool completely to make removal from mold easier. Pull firmly up on wick, and squeeze the sides of the mold to loosen wax. Snap molds should separate easily. Seam marks can be removed by polishing with an old nylon stocking.

Basic Technique For Homemade Candles From Parafin Slabs

Candles made from raw paraffin must have the other ingredients added to them. Melt the paraffin using the double boiler method described for wax crystals, after breaking into smaller chunks. After melting, add colorant, fragrance, stearine, and luster in the amounts indicated by the manufacturer. Candles made this way are usually superior to wax crystal candles, but are a little more trouble to make.

Molded can be used as is, or you may decorate them in various ways. If you wish to paint or decorate the candle, first apply two or three coats of an acrylic sealer. After this has dried, acrylic paints, stickers, or rub on decals may be applied. Decoupage methods may also be used. Modge Podge is used to adhere photos, cloth, ribbon, greeting cards, dried flowers, seeds, herbs, beads - the list is endless.

The basic procedures for making home made candles are not hard. You just need to make sure you carefully follow the instructions and develope your technique through practice. The instructions for the process of making candles in the home are not complicated or lengthy. A few basic steps can allow the home crafter to make candles like a pro.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Candle Making Equipment

Candle Making Equipment

Aspiring candle makers have three candle making methods to choose from. You can make them from ‘scratch’, use wax crystals, or utilize the new gel candle method. This article describes the equipment needed to make candles.

The best quality candles are made from raw paraffin which comes in one or ten pound slabs. Color, luster, hardener, and scent are added to the wax before pouring.

Stearine, the ingredient which hardens the paraffin, comes in powder form, as do the luster crystals. Opaque crystals impart a glossy sheen to the candle. Clear crystals
are used to make glow candles luminescence.

There are two types of wicks available in three sizes for candles one inch to six inches in diameter. Use the wick size suitable for the diameter of candle you are making. The two types of wick are braided and wire core. Use braided wicks for dipped and free standing candles and wire core for container candles.

Wick anchors are used to hold the wick secure to the bottom of container candles. The wick is inserted in to hole in the center of the anchor, and the tabs pressed down securely with a screwdriver. The tabs may be reused.

Raw paraffin is white. You must add dye to get colored candles. There are many colors to choose from, so you can make the candle just about any color you desire. Dye cakes are divided into six squares. Each square will dye about five pounds of wax.

Candle scents are also packaged in squares which are divided into six wafers. The individual wafers will perfume about five pounds of wax. More or less to your desire.

A newer and easier method of making candles is to use wax crystals. Wax crystals are packaged in twelve ounce bags, and are the consistency of sand. They can be melted, like paraffin, or poured into a heat resistant container and used as is for easy wax crystal candles. All ingredients have been added, so all you have to do is scent them, so a minimum of equipment is required to make this type.

To make molded and container candles melt the crystals in plastic boil bags, add fragrance, and pour into a container or mold of your choice.

Use the same equipment for these candle as described for the paraffin candles.

Gel candles are the newest innovation in candle making. A heat resistant kitchen pan is used to melt the gel. The gel melts at a lower temperature and in less time than wax crystals or wax. Melt the gel and pour into a container. These candles cannot be used in a mold. Clean up the gel with ammonia.

Specialized molds for candle making are heat resistant plastic or metal material. There are many shapes and sizes available including cylinder, round, votive, and floaters. Containers for candles can be of any heat resistant material. You may use metal, glass, or ceramic containers for your candles.

You will also need a soft wooden strip, like balsa, and a pin. This is used to secure the wick at the top of the container or mold.

Like any other hobby, candle making has its own specialized tools and equipment. To make molded and container candles, you will need something to melt the wax in. Use two metal sauce pans - one must be small enough to fit inside the other. Water is placed in the large pan, wax in the inner smaller one. Place on the kitchen range and boil the water in the large pan until the wax is melted. Boil bags may also be used to melt the wax. These are filled with wax and placed in a water filled sauce pan and boiled until the wax is melted.

This is a basic listing of the equipment needed for candle making.

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Friday, February 03, 2012

American Civil War Toy Soldier - Metal And Plastic

American Civil War Toy Soldier - Metal And Plastic

Civil war toy soldiers replicate the honorable men who sacrificed much for their cause.

Plastic Toy Soldiers

The American Civil War was a tragic episode in our nation’s history. Great armies from the North and South clashed in bloody battles with thousands killed and wounded. Union and Confederate soldiers both believed in the rightness of their cause and many gave their lives in defense of it. It is estimated that there were Union casualties of 359,528 and Confederate casualties of 258,000 during that conflict, making it by far the bloodiest war in American History. The Civil War Soldier endured much, suffered, bled and died in great numbers.

Civil war toy soldiers replicate these honorable men, both Union and Confederate, and seek to commemorate their sacrifices. There are many fine collections of civil war soldiers manufactured by a multitude of manufacturers. A few will be outlined here.

William Britains

This company has a large selection of 1/32 scale miniature Civil War toy soldiers of exceptional quality. The selection includes Union and confederate civil war soldier figures, civil war landmark replicas, and military props such as cannon, limbers, etc. William Britain American Civil War Toy soldier are pewter, very finely detailed and are lead free. William Britains is an English company which began making toy soldiers in 1893 and has continued producing toy soldiers ever since.

Conte Collectables

Founder Richard Conte began this company in 1999 making 1/32 metal toy soldiers with a matte finish. The American Civil War toy soldiers in the collection are very well detailed and nicely finished. The sets include a number of Union and Confederate toy soldier replicas, Civil War leaders, and accessories to the soldiers sets. These are the same scale as William Britain sets and the two will complement each other.

Forward March

Forward March is owned by Prescott’s Military Miniatures which was begun in 1980 by the Walker Family. An ancestor of the family was Colnel William Prescott, who gave the command at Bunker Hill "Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes". Accordingly, all the toy soldiers produced by this company have the whites of their eyes painted in. Forward March was launched in 2000 with the goal of producing high end metal toy soldiers. The civil war toy soldiers in their offerings are 1/32 scale spin cast metals. The masters are designed by the best sculptors and are hand painted by the owner Richard Walker. The American Civil War toy soldier series’ are limited in edition and very highly sought after.

King and Country
From Hong Kong, King and Country manufactures American Civil War toy soldiers in 1/32 scale metal scenes and figures.


BMC manufactures inexpensive plastic Civil war toy soldiers which ideal as children’s toys and for use in school projects. The figures are 1/32 scale, and are molded in a single color. Union civil war soldiers are blue, Confederate civil war soldiers are gray.

American civil war toy soldiers are produced in great variety for both collectors and children. Union and Confederate soldiers are both available in quality fine enough to honor the sacrifices made by the soldiers of the American Civil War. Back to Toy Soldier

© 2012 Hobby Hobnob

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Jewelry Clasps

Jewelry Clasps - Barrel - Lobster Claw - Magnetic

Jewelry clasps are used to hold a necklace, bracelet or other jewelry project together. There are several different types of clasps used for this purpose. The clasps are usually made from metal and can be nickel-silver, silver, or gold plated.

Barrel clasps are tubular shaped and can be used for either bracelets or necklaces. They have a loop on each end to which the stringing material is tied securely. This is one of the easier clasps to open and close jewelry. A simple twisting action opens and closes them.

The toggle clasp consists of a jump ring and another "T" shaped component. The "T" slips through the jump ring, the arms of the "T" holding the jewelry together.

The hook and eye clasp is the strongest, easiest to fasten clasp in jewelry making. It consists of two parts, the figure 8 portions which is tied to one end of the necklace or bracelet, and the hook, which is tied to the other. The hook then loops through the other end of the figure 8, holding the jewelry securely together.

The lobster claw clasp is so named because the clasp sort of resembles a lobster claw. It holds necklaces and bracelets firmly together when used with a jump ring.

Snap clasps are best used for bracelets. They open and close, sort of like a hinge. A trigger releases them, and they will not open unless this trigger is depressed, securely holding the jewelry ends together.

Magnetic clasps are great for children, or adults who have difficulty using their fingers. This is a two part clasp, both of which have a strong magnet enclosed. The clasps hold together firmly, securing the jewelry together.

There is a wide variety of jewelry clasps available for just about any bead craft project. Barrel and lobster claw are the most popular but the other types may work equally as well.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Bead Types and Styles

Bead Types and Styles

Types And Styles Of Beads

Pony Beads

Good bead for childrens crafts, as the beads are large and the hole is big enough for larger cords suitable for small hands. Use for ‘beady babies’, bracelets, necklaces.

Seed Beads

Very small bead used for bead loom projects, sewing crafts, and jewelery. Glass seed beads are best for color and quality. A multitude of colors is available in this type of bead.


Similiar in size and shape to seed beads, rocailles are more ‘metallic’ in color. The beads impart a ‘shimmery’ quality to projects. Use for bead loam projects, sewing crafts, and jewelery.

E Beads

Also called Giant Seed Beads. E beads are about 3 - 4 times larger than seed beads and are similiar in shape and color. they can also be used for bead loom projects. Good bead type for earings, bracelets, sewing
crafts, and other jewelery projects.

Alphabet Beads

This type of bead has a letter of the alphabet, or a number on them. They are great for making personalized bead projects. The beads are availabe at TrainTown in individual letters, making
projects easy to assemble needed items.

Facet Beads

Round, multifaced beads are availble in a variety of sizes from 6mm to 25mm and a multitude of colors. Used for necklaces, ornaments, and other craft projects.

Paddle Wheel Beads

Paddle wheels are sometimes called windmill beads. Shaped like a paddle wheel, they are available in a variety of colors and sizes. Used mostly for craft projects and ornament.

There are many different types of beads available for a variety of uses.

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